Showing posts with label Gospel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gospel. Show all posts

Monday

Gospel Inspiration- 16:13-23

Peter here professes his faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus gives the keys of the Kingdom to him, that is, the authority to rule over the church as pope. Pope Benedict XVI continues this ministry of governance that Jesus entrusted to St. Peter.

Matthew 16:13-23

13 Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. 21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. 22 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” 23 He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

my reflections
t h i n k : Let us be people of faith and not people who continually complain to God.
http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Thursday

Gospel Inspiration- Matthew Matthew 14:1-12

St. John the Baptist died because he was unafraid to tell King Herod that in taking his brother’s wife he was committing adultery. Here we see the qualities of a true servant of God and the type of character that we desperately need in the world today when so many leaders seek only popularity and fame rather than following what is morally right.

Matthew 14:1-12

1 Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus 2 and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” 3 Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, 4 for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. 6 But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod 7 so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, 10 and he had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

my reflections
t h i n k : The huge disparity in wealth that exists today is not God’s will.
http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Tuesday

Gospel Inspiration- Luke 1:39-56

The image of Mary going up to a town in Judah and being greeted with great joy by her cousin Elizabeth harps back to the story in the book of Samuel, where King David accompanied the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. With the coming of the ark, God’s presence comes to His people. With the coming of Mary, God visited Elizabeth, and the child in her womb is filled with the Holy Spirit and leaps for joy.

Luke 1:39-56

39 Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” 46 And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; 47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior. 48 For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. 49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. 51 He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. 52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. 53 The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, 55 according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” 56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

my reflections:

think: Jesus is the first to rise from the dead and the Virgin Mary, being without sin, is the first fruit of His resurrection.
http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Monday

Daily Reading- Matthew 10:24-33

Jesus assures us that we are of great value to the heavenly Father and that He has counted every strand of our hair. Like a doting father, God gazes lovingly at us, so much so that He is entranced by us and wastes His time counting every strand of our hair to make sure not one is missing. If God loves us this much, let us entrust all our cares and concerns to Him rather than carrying them ourselves.

Matthew 10:24-33

24 Jesus said to his Apostles: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! 26 Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not
be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. 27 What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. 30 Even all the hairs of your head are counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. 33 But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”


my reflections
t h i n k : When we place our lives in God’s hands, He turns everything to our good so that nothing can harm us.
http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Saturday

Daily Reflection- John 15:18-21

Jesus faced all sorts of trials and opposition when proclaiming the Gospel. Let us never be discouraged to the point of giving up when trials and sufferings engulf our lives. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and on the goal of eternal life and face them. We need never be afraid that Jesus will desert us as His promise is to be with us until the end of time. With this truth in my heart I know I can endure any trial the devil might raise against me.

John 15:18-21

18 Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”

my reflections

think: We need never be afraid that Jesus will desert us as His promise is to be with us until the end of time.

Friday

Daily Messages- John 13:16-20

Jesus is the Master and we are His disciples. Nothing will ever change the fundamentals of this relationship. Yes, Jesus will call us His friends but that will not change the fact that He is the lead and we are to follow wherever He goes. There seems to be something in the vast majority of all people, if not all people, that wants to be a leader. Well, when it comes to our faith there is only one leader and His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

John 13:16-20

16 When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. 18 I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.’ 19 From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. 20 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

my reflections
t h i n k : Let us trust that what God wants to do with us is best for us.

http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Monday

Inspiring Messages-Luke 24:35-48

The truth of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, our Gospel faith, is something that means we have received a commission. We have been sent out to proclaim the truth we have received. Just as our faith cost us nothing in terms of receiving it, we must be prepared to do our share in bringing the same truth to the lives of all men and women. We receive the Gospel in order to be sent out to proclaim it. This is the dynamic of the Good News; this is a “must do” reality for all Christians.

Luke 24:35-48

35 The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place on the way and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of the bread. 36 While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of baked fish; 43 he took it and ate it in front of them. 44 He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. 46 And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47 and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.”

my reflections

t h i n k : We should be willing to give people the benefit of the doubt when we think they have wronged us.

http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Friday

Gospel Reading- Mark 10:32-45

Self-promotion may be an important means of moving ahead in the world but it is anathema in the Kingdom of God. The heart of the life of a disciple of Jesus is humility. Until we are able to lose our self-interest, it is not possible to progress in holiness. It is no mistake that this teaching of Jesus immediately follows one of the predictions of His Passion. It is in His Passion that we see the depth of the humility of Jesus, His willingness to embrace even death on a cross, and thus we learn humility’s central role in the life of discipleship and obedience to the will of God.

Mark 10:32-45

32 The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles 34 who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death, but after three days he will rise.” 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” 37 They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am
baptized?” 39 They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. 42 Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 43 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; 44 whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

my reflections

t h i n k : W e need to learn to entrust our needs to the Lord and so give Him the opportunity to demonstrate His eternal faithfulness to us.

Thursday

Gospel Inspiration- Mark 9:2-13

Quite often when I read the name Elijah in the Scriptures, what comes to my mind is the epitome of a man of the Spirit. Elijah in person was a man led by the Spirit of God who encountered many very difficult situations and overcame them through his faith and trust in God. Let us be so inspired to place our lives in the hands of God and thus allow Him to work in and through us to overcome our difficulties.

Mark 9:2-13

2 Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. 4 Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. 5 Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. 7 Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” 8 Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. 9 As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. 11 Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12 He told them, “Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

my reflections
t h i n k : Let us make a commitment to get to know the of the Church.
http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Gospel Inspiration- Matthew 5:1-12

It would be a good thing if every man, woman and child reflected upon one beatitude every day and sought to live it out in their life that day. It certainly would not hurt the world for this to happen. I wonder if we, as individuals, are willing to do this or something similar to this without the guarantee that anyone else will do the same. If so, then I believe that such an individual is well on the way to becoming a saint.

Matthew 5:1-12

1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 He began to teach them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. 6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

my reflections:
t h i n k : Sometimes we are simply better off just accepting the way God does things.

Tuesday

Gospel Reading-Luke 1:67-79

Just as Mary’s thanksgiving is expressed in her Magnificat (albeit largely borrowed from Hannah, the mother of Samuel), so too is Zechariah’s thanksgiving expressed in the Benedictus, the Gospel for today. We learn here that we should always seek opportunities to give thanks to God for the blessings He gives us. Gratitude is an integral part of discipleship; it will ensure the ongoing blessing of our projects, relationships and entire lives.

Luke 1:67-79

67 Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people. 69 He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant, 70 even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old: 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his holy covenant 73 and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father, and to grant us that, 74 rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us 79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

my reflections
think: Gratitude is an integral part of discipleship; it will ensure the ongoing blessing of our projects, relationships and entire lives.
http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Saturday

Gospel Inspiration- Luke 21:5-11

We live in the end times. However, the Church understands that the end times began with the death of Jesus. As disciples, it’s not about the signs or when the end of the world will occur. We need to be ready now. This is the only way we will have prepared properly for the return of Jesus. And if He comes tomorrow or in a thousand years, it does not matter to us because we are ready whenever He comes.

Luke 21:5-11

5 While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, 6 “All that you see — the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” 7 Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” 8 He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! 9 When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs ill come from the sky.”

my reflections
t h i n k : There is going to be a time of judgment and we had better prepare for it.

my reflections
t h i n k : How generous am I in supporting the Church and the poor?

http://www.kerygmafamily.com

Monday

Bible Readings

PENTECOST SUNDAY

HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues. – Acts 2:4

During a mission trip to Vancouver, our hosts told us that God gave us a chance to rest first and have some form of recreation. So they toured us around the city.
I will never forget our day on Grouse Mountain. Grouse Mountain is the peak of Vancouver, just 15 minutes away from downtown, but with a 1,250-feet elevation. The place is fantastic. From the top, we could see the entire city, the mountains and the sea. Coming down from the spectacular spot, we had an additional treat — a cable car ride.

I noticed that all who were riding our car had a different nationality. People spoke in their own language. It reminded me of the scene at Pentecost. I felt like I was in the Upper Room with the disciples of Jesus experiencing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and everybody was speaking in tongues! It was a bit strange hearing all the unfamiliar sounds, but something deep inside me knew that everybody spoke of the beauty of God’s creation.

I looked outside, saw the splendor of God’s work and let my own spirit sing: “How great is our God, sing with me. How great is our God, all will see how great, how great is our God….” Arun Gogna

REFLECTION:
Let your heart sing today of how great the Lord is in your life.

Thank You, Lord, that I can speak and sing to You. Amen.

MORE THAN RELEASING A DOVE

Why are doves released during weddings? Most of the time, the response I got to my queries are shoulder shrugs and long stares. Some people sometimes manage to mumble incoherent and confusing explanations. Well, I am sure there could have been a very good explanation for this wedding ritual. It is just that along the way, the stories of origin and significance have been lost. The ritual was carried through and passed on without much thought about its true meaning. This is, of course, sad.

How about Pentecost? We know it to be the commemoration of Jesus’ release of the promised Holy Spirit to His apostles. In Christian art, this Holy Spirit has been portrayed as a dove. What difference does this have with the wedding ceremony of releasing doves?

The Church has always proclaimed in her kerygmatic — her core teaching — that the heart of the life of Jesus was His passion, death and resurrection. And in the Church’s renewed appreciation of the liturgy, the Church sustains that Pentecost, not Ascension Sunday, is the end of the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Sacred Scriptures is witness to this: that the end of Jesus’ ministry was that He might send us the Holy Spirit. The latest and most reflective of the Gospels – St. John’s – testifies that during Jesus’ last moments on the Cross, He did not only breathe His last — Jesus “handed over His spirit” (John 19:30). And when His sacred side was finally pierced, “immediately blood and water flowed out” (John 19:34).

The Holy Spirit is more than a dove. The Holy Spirit is the breath of the Father and the Son; He is the love without end between the Father and the Son. Therefore He is God as the Father and the Son, the power and dynamism of the Trinity. This is then what Pentecost brings us: the opening of heaven, the empowerment of every Christian with the very life and power of God. Pentecost is then known as our birthday as a Church — a community of believers charged and empowered to continue the task of Jesus. Fr. Domie Guzman

Reflection Question:
As you make your prayer time today, spend a good time asking Jesus for a renewal of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of Your love.

Blessed Albert of Bergamo, Dominican tertiary, pray for us.


1st READING

Mary is with the disciples at Pentecost. As Mother of the Church, it is appropriate for her to be there. Having given birth to the Son of God, He also chose her to be present at the birth of the Church. As we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit today, let us be aware that we stand in a tradition of God’s work with a people who are His own. It is our privilege and responsibility to carry on that work.

Acts 2:1-11
1 When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. 2 And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. 3 Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. 5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. 6 At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? 9 We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, 11 both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”

P S A L M

Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
R: Lord, send out your spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! 24 How manifold are your works, O LORD! The earth is full of your creatures. (R) 31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD be glad in his works! 34 Pleasing to him be my theme; I will be glad in the LORD. (R) 29 If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. (R)

2nd READING

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are many and varied. In fact, lists of the gifts appear in the Scriptures several times, particularly in the writings of Paul. These gifts are to be used for building up the Body of Christ. No one has a monopoly on all or even any one of them. They work best when used within the context of the Christian community. Let us seek to be generous in how we share our gifts with others.

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
3 Brothers and sisters: No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5 there are different forms of service but the same Lord; 6 there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 7 To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. 12 As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

G O S P E L

Jesus breathes the gift of the Spirit on His apostles. This act harks back to the scriptural text where the Spirit of God hovered over the chaos of the deep and brought forth the creation of the world. It give us an indication of the power of the Spirit who is being given to us. Through the Holy Spirit we partake in the power of God Himself — a preparation for union with Him in eternal life.

John 20:19-23
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

my reflections
think:Am I generous with my spiritual gifts?

kyregma.com

Thursday

LibERTY TO CAPTiVES

“He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives…” – Luke 4:18

“I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” I glanced at the audience to acknowledge their applause. I took a bow and left the stage.
I joined elocution contests in grade school. I won a lot of them. But not this one. The judges said I did not deliver the piece with much conviction. Can you blame me? I was a Grade 4 student then. The word liberty didn’t mean anything to me at all. At that time, the only liberty I knew was condensed milk. “Give me liberty or give me death” is a famous quotation from a speech made by Patrick Henry in 1775 to the Virginia House of Burgesses that convinced them to pass a resolution delivering the Virginia troops to the war.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus bringing liberty to captives means more than just physical freedom; He has come to set our spirits free. He assures us that through Him, we have been empowered to break free from the clutches of sin and death. This makes us all victors rather than victims. We are captives no more! “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Le t us celebrate our freedom. Randy Borromeo

REFLECTION:
What are the areas of my life that are still in bondage to sin?

Lord, thank You for freedom. Thank You for setting us free. Thank You for the promise of a year of favor from You. Amen.

G O S P E L
Mary anoints the feet of Jesus. This is a rather unusual act as anointings are usually done to the head. Perhaps we have a symbol here of the humility of Jesus? Perhaps Mary is harking back to the text of Isaiah that speaks of the beauty of the feet of those who bring good news? As we reflect upon Mary’s act, let us ask God to reveal to us its significance for our lives.

John 12:1-11
1 Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. 3 Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 5 “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” 6 He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. 7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 [The] large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, 11 because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

my reflections
think:Do we serve selflessly or with self-interest?

Monday

John 7:40-53

G O S P E L
It is always possible to twist words around and make them support a particular argument as long as it is not too far-fetched. It seems that the leaders of Israel in Jesus’ time were quite good at this. The Pharisees were capable of coming up with Scripture texts to support erroneous conclusions. It is important that we submit our understanding of the Scriptures to the Magisterium of the Church so that we can avoid this sort of error.

John 7:40-53

40 Some in the crowd who heard these words said, “This is truly the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he? 42 Does not scripture say that the Messiah will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. 44 Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. 45 So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” 47 So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, 51 “Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” 52 They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” 53 Then each went to his own house.

my reflections
think:It’s best to leave the judgment and vengeance to God.